Kilgore’s Attackers Too Much For Dallas A-Plus Academy In Regional Semifinal + Carrollton Ranchview Downs Chapel Hill
TYLER -- Kilgore got away 31 shots in Friday's Class 4A Region II semifinal playoff game and put 17 attempts on net in a 6-2 dismantling of Dallas A-Plus Academy that could have been a lot worse at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The Bulldogs had four other serious scoring chances in the contest, and both of A-Plus Academy's goals were impossible for goalkeeper Kaleb Jett to defend. If those things had fallen Kilgore's way as well, the squad very well could have marched into Saturday's regional championship game on the heels of up to a double-digit victory.
"We kind of knew a little bit about them," winning coach Austin Walker said. "What we learned was what we got. We were expecting that. We made some tweaks here and there. It was really just a personnel preference more than anything. Once we took care of our business, it was fine."
Kilgore (18-5-2) put up its first goal 3:18 into the game when Elian Torres teed up a Yonatan Contreras corner kick for Wanya McIntyre to finish from about five yards from the goal.
Torres scored his first of two goals 18 minutes later. He was in position to pick up a Contreras shot off A-Plus Academy (13-4) keeper Lynndale Thurston.
Andrew Perez made it an interesting game for about a dozen minutes with a bicycle kick from inside Kilgore's penalty area, but Kilgore scored two more goals before the eighth minute of the second half passed for a commanding 4-1 edge.
In addition to Torres' second goal, which was the game-winner, Contreras and Jose Arrendondo got on the board in the game's back half. The two teams also exchanged fluky own goals.
A-Plus Academy attempted 11 shots through the 80-minute game, requiring five saves by Jett.
"We didn't come out as good as I wanted to," Walker said. "I know we scored really quickly, but after that we kind of lulled and weren't as sharp or as crisp as I wanted. Went into halftime, talked about it, made a couple of tweaks and came out very pleased with the second-half performance.
"You get an unfortunate own goal and a bicycle you didn't step to. Those things are soft goals, but they can hurt you down the road."
In Kilgore's way next will be Carrollton Ranchview, which defeated A-Plus Academy twice earlier this season by a combined score of 7-1 toward its 21-1-1 record. Ranchview handed Chapel Hill a season-ending loss, 2-0, at Rose Stadium about two and a half hours after Kilgore won its game.
The winner of Saturday's contest will advance to Georgetown for the state tournament.
Naturally, Kilgore will be in the better position as far as rest. Both teams have played games in consecutive days, but not since January.
"As soon as we get back to Kilgore, everybody will take ice baths and get some sleep," Walker said. "We'll get some water and Gatorade. All that."
Ranchview Wins Ugly Game Versus Chapel Hill
Carrollton Ranchview will have to play very carefully in Saturday's regional championship game after recording four of eight yellow cards en route to its 2-0 win against Chapel Hill in the other Class 4A Region II semifinal game.
Friday's game devolved into a hitting contest in the final minutes. Both teams had instigators and had to be separated twice.
After the final separation, there were multiple deliberate tackles from behind. The final came with 12 seconds left and was the contest's very final event.
Frustrations on both sides mounted as Chapel Hill (15-8-1) clawed back for a definitively stronger second half, at least in terms of offensive possession and on defense at large. Both of Ranchview's goals came in the first 30 minutes of the game.
The losing side jumped from four total shots after the first half to 15 at the final buzzer.
Arturo Rodriguez, who will face Kilgore with a yellow card to his name, scored both Ranchview points and nearly recorded a first-half hat trick. He hit the right post in the final minute of the frame.
Rodriguez earned what was ultimately the game-winning goal less than nine minutes into play. He dribbled away from the Chapel Hill sweepers while remaining stationary and fired a shot from about 10 yards from the net.
The striker's second goal came with 12:32 left in the half on a penalty kick after an illegal tackle inside the penalty area.
Chapel Hill enjoyed its two best scoring opportunities in the decisive half. Two breakaways were thwarted by goalkeeper Frankie Mejia, who also will play against Kilgore with a yellow card hanging over his head.
If either Rodriguez or Mejia pick up a another yellow card against Kilgore -- and if Ranchview wins the game to advance to the state tournament in Georgetown -- they will be ineligible to play in the team's state semifinal contest. However, both will be free to continue on against Kilgore unless they pick up second yellow cards within the regional championship game.
The same goes for a second Ranchview forward and a midfielder.
Sixteen Chapel Hill seniors exhausted their eligibility with the loss. They helped improve the program from its .500 record in 2016 and a sub .500 record in 2015.